They didn’t go to bed!!

meghanemccoy

In the Brooder
Dec 25, 2020
2
3
11
Asheville, NC
I have my first flock as of this past Spring, 10 Dominiques. We’ve all done fine until today when we’ve had our first snow. The girls were all still in their coop when I went down to see them, I presume because it was so cold outside. I didn’t want to close their door on them, but also wanted to give some wind protection, so I threw a blue tarp over the whole coop, leaving space at the run door to go in and out (it’s a 2-story coop with a run underneath. I’ve got hay bales stacked around the run to cut the wind blowing beneath them). Well it scared the ever loving crap out of them and they all scattered! But that was this morning.
So tonight after dark I went down to check on them because I don’t trust the automatic door closer in such cold. Only 2 of my girls were in their coop! 2 others were huddled together in an outdoor nesting box and the other 6 were roosting on a picnic table frame I have for them under our deck. I got them all in their coop, one by one. But I’m perplexed! Would the tarp have fooled them all so they couldn’t recognize their home? Were they just scared? Why would they stay out in the cold instead of going in?
 

Abriana

Spicy Sugar Cookie
Apr 26, 2017
5,126
56,623
1,217
Midgard
True. We got their first snow overnight, and it took them 3 days to feel confident enough to walk on the paths we made in it.
Same for mine! Except I think mine took 4 days :rolleyes:

Chickens get freaked out over seemingly benign occurrences, because they are easily-eaten prey. I’m sure in a few days they will get used to it!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,655
143,734
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Well it scared the ever loving crap out of them and they all scattered! But that was this morning.
So tonight after dark I went down to check on them because I don’t trust the automatic door closer in such cold.
What did they do all day?

Would the tarp have fooled them all so they couldn’t recognize their home? Were they just scared? Why would they stay out in the cold instead of going in?
Guessing the snow freaked them out a bit, then the tarp put them over the edge.
Pics of your setup might help here.

Oh and..... Welcome to BYC! @meghanemccoy
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1608990665748.png
 

meghanemccoy

In the Brooder
Dec 25, 2020
2
3
11
Asheville, NC
They hung out on their picnic table all day, which is why it’s there. We’re in Asheville, NC.
The photo of the coop is from this Spring. It isn’t situated next to the fence like that now, but in the middle of that space. I’m standing on the deck taking the pic, and the picnic table is beneath me.
I’ll take more pics later today when I go back down to switch out their water (it’s been freezing, of course). I’m thinking I’ll remove the tarp and stable plastic sheeting around the run instead. There are currently some hay bales around the bottom where the coop is.
 

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